By: Barry Schindle
Midwest Waterfowl Outfitters
Minnesota has continued to rank #1 for number of Canada geese harvested every year. Lets look at some of the great goose areas around the state for both guided and freelanced hunts.
Rochester is pretty much the mecca for goose hunting. A quick drive around town will let you know why, this town is LOADED with geese come the middle of November and they stay all winter long. Rochester goose hunting can be frustrating if you just want to do it by yourself, there are a ton of guide services in town that do tie up much of the cloes to town fields. But if you do you homework and put in some windshield time there are still opportunities for the freelance hunter. Best time to hit the Rochester geese is about a week before Thanksgiving till the season closes right around x-mas. Rochester offers something most other areas of the state do not, a warm water source at Silver Lake that keeps the water open all year.
If you would like to utilize a guide service in the area I recommend Dean at Primier Flight, I have been hunting with Dean and his crew since my college days in the mid 90's. Rochester is nice since it is mostly pit hunting with heaters when it gets cold out in December. www.premierflight.com
Fergus Falls is another great area for goose hunting, not quite as crowded as Rochester it is still a little busy since it offers some great hunting. The goose hunting in Fergus Falls is great all season long, but really heats up for the late season. If you want to do it yourself swing into the court house and get yourself a plot book and start banging on some doors. Fergus Falls Wetland Management District
If knocking on farmers doors is not your thing our you just don't have all the goose decoys and blinds to do it yourself I recommend a Kyle Phillips of Banded Gandr Guide Service. I have hunted with Kyle for the past 10 years and he knows his stuff. Please contact me to get his phone number.
Metro Goose Hunting
With gas prices inching towards $4/gallon maybe staying close to home is a better option for you. Finding fields in the metro is a little different then in outstate Minnesota. It is easy to track down a farmer with a plot book in rural Minnesota, but around the Metro it gets a little harder with land changing hands quite often and farms being purchased by developers. What I have found out in situations like these is sometimes its easier to find the nearest farm house with equipment in the yard and knock on the door and ask if they know, even if a developer owns it odds are a local farmer is still turning the land over.
If your looking for a guide in the Metro area please contact me, I work with a couple of area guides that can put you on the birds.
SW Minnesota offers some of best late season Canada Goose and Duck hunting opportunities as the geese get pushed south with the seasons change. I have hunted the Talcot quite a bit in the past and it can be amazing come late season. There are both State blinds for pass shooting and since there is little pressure since its distance from the metro area getting on farmers land is easier with a litle windshield time. Talcot WMA Site
Other Areas to Hunt
Please contact me if you want information about other areas of the state, I have goose hunted all over the state and can help you out as much as possible.